Matty Stark Scholarship
At Breakaway Basketball our #1 goal has always been about teaching players how to work hard and understand that being successful at anything is a process. This process takes focus, hard work, perseverance, and patience. We use the game of basketball to teach these lessons that will translate to their everyday lives.
The one thing I can guarantee every player on their journey is you are going to face a lot of adversity along the way. The basketball gods throw adversity at players to help see if they really love the game or just like the game. Adversity is thrown at us to reveal the type of character inside of us. I have faced a lot of adversity in my own personal career and I credit the game of basketball in teaching me how to face it and eventually overcome it.
Currently Matty Stark is a senior captain at York High School in Elmhurst,IL. I first met Matty as a high school freshman and she was in the process of recovering from her first ACL tear.
From the first day we met she had such great energy about herself. Super focused, a tremendous worker, and loved the game. She was always smiling with such a great positive attitude. She wanted to go so hard in every drill and I would look at her dad in the stands and basically ask permission if I should allow her to work at that intensity. There was going to be no stopping Matty.
Fast forward now to her senior year of high school. Matty has endured 3 ACL tears in 5 years. Each year picking herself up with the help of her dad, dusting herself off, wiping away the tears, and getting back to work. Working hard to once again get healthy to play the game that she loves so much.
Her senior night was three days ago. She was not supposed to play this year but once again overcame the odds. She started the game and played it the only way she knew how- and that is HARD. The way her dad taught her. She scored 9 points, multiple rebounds, assists, and steals. She was diving on the floor for loose balls. It was impossible not to have tears in your eyes watching her play.
Last night Matty played her 2nd game back and unfortunately she was once again knocked to the floor. I received a text from a close friend that said "Matty is hurt- it's bad". I called her father right away and he broke the news that she got hurt and it looks like a knee. I spoke with Matty a couple hours later. She was crying explaining what happened and how this morning she will have her MRI. She told me at least I got to play on my senior night. I told her she didn't just play, she was the best player on the floor that night. The kid is always finding the positive in a difficult situation it is just who Matty is.
I have never met a player who has endured so much and continued to still pursue their dreams. As a younger player her dream was to play college ball, and as time went on those dreams changed and it was just to play the game she loves so much with her teammates.
Matty Stark makes me and our program want to GET BETTER everyday. I don't know many people who would be able to fight and overcome the way she has. And while she battled she remained a great student, great teammate, and a great daughter. Matty Stark is going to be successful in what ever she decides to pursue moving forward.
Breakaway Basketball is going to start the Matty Stark Scholarship. The Matty Stark Scholarship will be open to any senior in high school. Students will write their stories on what adversity they have overcome to continue to pursue their passions. Each year we will award 1 student the scholarship which will be used towards their college tuition.
We are excited to announce that this year Matty Stark will receive the scholarship. This $3,000 scholarship will be made out to Matty and to be used for her college education.
At some point in every players career the ball stops bouncing for all of us. I am excited that when the ball stops bouncing for Matty her impact is going to last for years and years. This scholarship will be a great reminder to me and so many that if Matty could do it so can I.
Thanks to every one who supports Breakaway Basketball and as always our goal is to change our players lives, but so many times they keep changing ours.